After difficult negotiations with the energy regulator Ofgem about the suspension of their Feed In Tariff (FIT) payments, Pennine Community Power (PCP) has now had their FIT payments reinstated and backdated to when the suspension took place, in January 2013.
PCP has just been paid £5,432 for the period January to September 2013.
Paul Willson, the treasurer of PCP, said:
“Over 50 other community energy projects were also affected by some very little- known Ofgem rules on State Aid.
After PCP returned £8,800 to the Big Lottery Fund, Ofgem agreed to reinstate the FIT payments to PCP for the electricity our wind turbine produces, and to backdate the payments for the period since 1st January 2013.
This is great news as it will now enable us to do the things we were set up to do: give grants to community projects and help other communities set up their own community energy schemes.”
Ofgem had suspended PCP’s FIT payments in order to question the grant PCP had received from Big Lottery Fund. Ofgem does not allow FIT payments if State Aid has been given to certain aspects of an electricity generation project – although no-one had advised PCP that Big Lottery Funding counts as State Aid.
Here’s Finn Jensen guidance for other groups that have also had their FITs suspended.
A cooperative that generates income for the community, as well as electricity
PCP was established as a Community Benefit Society in 2012, to generate green electricity from a community-owned wind turbine at Blackshaw Head. The purpose was also to generate an income for the community over a 20-year period.
The Pennine Community Power cooperative is run by 65 local members, who all invested between £250 and £1000 to establish the community wind turbine. As well as paying interest to the 65 shareholders/members, PCP expects to be able to give around £80,000 to community projects over the next 15-20 years.
Over the last year, the PCP wind turbine has generated 26,000 kWh of electricity.